During a meeting of the Alabama Democratic Party on Saturday, the organization voted in its first African-American chair and its first openly lesbian vice chair.
According to a statement released by the party, Representative Chris England was elected as the chair during the State Democratic Executive Committee in Montgomery. Patricia Todd was also elected as the vice chair.
“Today was monumental for Alabama Democrats, and I am honored to have been selected to serve as the Chair of our state party,” said Representative Chris England. “What we achieved today was historic and I’m extremely proud of the unity and engagement that demonstrated. I look forward to working closely with my colleague Patricia Todd and all of the party members to create a more diverse and inclusive state party. I would also like to extend my thanks to Tabitha Isner and Will Boyd, who have been tirelessly working to bring transparency and good faith to the party. Democrats work best when we work together, and I look forward to continuing this work with them and all Democrats as Party Chair.”
According to the ABC station in Birmingham, WBMA, the previous chairwoman, Nancy Worley, was unanimously voted to be removed 172-0. The former vice chair, Randy Kelley, was also voted out of his position.
Worley sued earlier in the week to prevent Saturday's meeting and the party election, but the lawsuit was dismissed by the Alabama Supreme Court.
Senator Doug Jones took to Twitter on Saturday and called the vote "historic."
"The diversity of the party now truly reflects our great state and the unity needed to move forward. Thanks to everyone who made this happen," said Jones.
Walt Maddox, the Mayor of Tuscaloosa and former gubernatorial candidate, also chimed in on Twitter to state in part, "It's a new day and it's exciting to see a new generation rise to meet the challenges of Alabama's future."
Tuscaloosa falls within House District 70, which is represented by Rep. England.